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Submission + - ESRB clears Rockstar in Manhunt 2 hack (gamepolitics.com)

Miraba writes: Via GamePolitics, the ESRB has released the results of their investigation into the Manhunt 2 hack. The important bits: 1. The hack requires the use of unauthorized software. 2. The hack does not restore the game to its original AO form. 3. Rockstar disclosed the noted contents when Manhunt 2 was rerated.
There appear to be no plans to re-rerate the game.

Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Chinese Anti-Corruption online game got shut down

hackingbear writes: "Sina.com.cn reported on July 31 that the Chinese Communist Party's propaganda department is getting hi-tech and creative by creating an Anti-Corruption Theme online game known as "Anti-Coruption Fighter". However,the game, published by the Discipline Committee of the CCP branch in the city of Ningbo, was shut down just a few days later. (The game can still be downloaded from sina.com.cn for unknown reason as the game's creator refuse to answer queries from the journalists.

In the game, the player's objective is to kill a corruptive official and fight the resistances from the official's guards, sons, and bikini-wearing mistresses and concubines, reflecting the real-world situation. The game has attracted a lot of curios visitors after media exposure. However, Internet users criticize the game being "too rough" in design and also seem to infringing other game's copyrighted materials.

In the reader commentary sections of the news report, some comments criticize the game as "stupid" and "dumb" while other wittily suggest that maybe some higher rank corruptive official's nerve got sensitized by the game and ordered it to shut down."

Submission + - Long tail discovered on Mira

tgeller writes: "A paper published today in Nature announces the discovery of a tail trailing behind the star Mira, 13 light years long and visible only in the ultraviolet spectrum. It in essence "lays out" the material that such a red giant sheds as it passes through space, giving astronomers insight into how new stars are formed, and the likely fate of our sun 5 billion years from now."

Submission + - Comet Explosion Killed The Clovis Culture. 1

Haikuist_For_Hire writes: The NSF has released a study that strongly implicates a comet explosion over North America roughly 13000 years ago. Researchers at the University of Californina at Santa Barbara with the help of a National Science Foundation grant visited many Clovis sites around North America. The abrupt cooling trend of that time is known as the Younger Dryas or 'big freeze' and the collapse of the Clovis has been the subject of much debate over recent years. Samples from 12 Clovis period sites yielded high concentrations of Iridium, nano-diamonds, and buckyballs (fullerenes) that contain gases which indicate extraterrestrial origins. From the article: 'The team concluded that the impact of the comet likely destabilized a large portion of the Laurentide ice sheet, causing a high volume of freshwater to flow into the north Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.'

Submission + - 3D Animations in Mid-Air Using Plasma Balls (gizmodo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Japanese boffins are now making animations by creating small plasma balls in mid-air. The technology doesn't use vapor or strange gases, just lasers to heat up oxygen and nitrogen molecules: up to 1,000 brilliant dots per second, which makes smooth motion possible. They could be used as street signs, advertising or to create giant plasma monsters to destroy entire cities. Maybe.

Submission + - Squirrels heat tails to warn rattlesnakes 1

Miraba writes: According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences squirrels heat their tails as part of a defense mechanism against infrared-detecting rattlesnakes. The gopher snake, a species that cannot detect infrared, does not cause the squirrels to heat their tails. The scientists created a robotic squirrel to test their hypothesis.

Submission + - Drive for Altruism is Hardwired, Like Sex or Food

Dekortage writes: "Your brain is pre-wired to enjoy placing the interests of others ahead of your own. At least, that's what neuroscientists are claiming in the Washington Post. In studies, "generosity activated a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food or sex.... Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable." Such neuroscience "has opened up a new window on what it means to be good," although many philosophers over recorded history have suggested similar things. Are you hardwired for good?"
United States

Submission + - Does Boston Have a Future as a Tech Center?

An anonymous reader writes: The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine (http://www.boston.com/news/specials/futureboston/ ) has an interesting set of articles about how Boston will look ten years from now, including an article about Boston's struggle to reassert itself as a science and technology center in the face of competition from Silicon Valley and other areas and given transportation constraints, skills shortages, and housing challenges (http://www.boston.com/news/specials/futureboston/ articles/2007/05/27/americas_science_city/). Even more interesting: There's an affiliated social networking site, called FutureBoston, with a contest for people to collaborate in coming up with solutions for Boston in the areas of Health, Design and Energy.

Submission + - 15 things we wish someone would invent ...

An anonymous reader writes: This story originates from Forbes.com. Here's an extract: Technology proceeds at such a breakneck pace that sometimes it feels like we're rocketing into science fiction territory: Animal cloning, unmanned aircraft and space tourism are all recent realities. For some, though, invention isn't moving fast enough. Direct link to article.

Submission + - Does SPF really work?

Intelopment writes: "My Domain name has recently been used a lot as the REPLY field by some inconsiderate spammer and my ISP has suggested that I consider using the Open SPF service (http://openspf.org/) as a way to stop spammers from using my domain name for their REPLY field. From what I can tell it requires the receiving mail server to actually participate in the SPF service, which is where I get my doubts. Does anyone have any experience with this service? Does it work? Are many ISPs using openSFP?"

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